The Student News Site of Carl Sandburg High School



Student and staff perspectives on swimming in P.E.

In Carl Sandburg’s Physical Education program, one of the units students participate in is Swimming. During the swim unit, students learn various life saving skills and techniques.

In recent years, the swim unit has involved water games and activities, such as snorkeling, kayaking, and water polo. While the swim unit can be a fun and enjoyable and even provide life-saving lessons for some, others feel swimming is cold, uncomfortable, or boring.     

CSHS’s pool, the site for the swim unit in P.E. classes

Some students here at Carl Sandburg High School believe swimming is extremely useful as a life skill and entertaining. Freshman Shane DeNardo expressed support in swimming. DeNardo believes that ¨[swim] is a really fun sport” and that “people just gotta know how to enjoy it.”

From this perspective, many students believer that those that dislike swimming in P.E. should give it sincere effort. Swimming can be a unique way to get your body moving and keep yourself healthy. 

Many P.E. teachers at Sandburg feel similarly to DeNardo in that they beleive in the power of the swimming unit to engage students in life lessons. One such person is teacher, coach, and self-proclaimed ¨swim advocate¨ Coach Wilkins. Coach Wilkins believes learning how to swim is necessary for safety.

While swimming can make some people uncomfortable, Wilkins thinks that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Coach Wilkins states “the safety of being able to protect themselves is most beneficial.” Coach Wilkins believes “knowing the basics of swimming so you can stay afloat and survive if there were an accident” is extremely important in a community where we have many bodies of water.

Some students at Sandburg disagree with both the students and teachers the emphasize the value of learning to swim in P.E. For many students, swimming is an uncomfortable and unnecessary experience that they endure throughout their four years of high school.

Freshman student Will Vajarsky states “I disliked changing,” expressing that it was “uncomfortable.” He also spoke about incorporating races into the unit in order to make it more enjoyable.

Another freshman student, Rahaf Hussien, agrees that the swimming unit could be adjusted to better fit the needs of all students. Hussien did not participate in swimming due to her religion and feels the unit could be made “more enjoyable [by] lowering the amount of work the runners ha[ve] to do.”

The swim unit at Sandburg has students disagreeing about the value of the experience. While some find it burdensome, many believe swimming prepares you for life-threatening situations and is a great way to exercise.

In the end, swimming is just one more life lesson students learn at Sandburg.

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